iPad Pro iPad pro is a keeper and Surface Book is headed for a refund

Discussion in 'iPad' started by mikewired, Feb 11, 2016.

  1. mikewired macrumors member

    Apr 28, 2010
    I have both a Surface Book and a iPad pro trying to incorporate note taking and mobile office into one device with a decent battery life. I started first with the iPad but it was frustrating me with no real file system and trying to move documents around. I kept thinking I need a real computer for this. I also have an occasional need for Windows OS with trustworthy usb connections for programming equipment. This is when the surface line seemed like the obvious choice, pen, Windows, small and light. So next I picked up a Surface pro 4 and thought this is great. As days went by I could only get the sp4 battery to last around 4 hours. I returned the sp4 and got a Surface book with a bigger battery and now I am all set. As I started to really use the SB things kept getting weird with it like not waking up, and stupid problems like Windows mail just churning and churning trying to get email and couldn't. Some programs would just run away with the cpu and the fans kicked in and I thought the whole thing would launch across the room. I know about the surface troubles and all my updates and firmware were installed but still issues. I installed office 2016 to get my email working and for excel. They both were operating very flaky and scrolling like a 15 year old laptop. Yuk. I also picked up a open box yoga 3 pro for good price to resell so I installed office on it with half the processing power and it worked as it should. So the yoga is not getting resold and will hang around for my Windows needs. So back to the iPad. I spent many hours yesterday converting my excel sheets to numbers and learning how to move the files around between apps. I also tested this with wifi off and it looks like you can still save to iCloud and it will sync later when back in wifi range. I generated a proposal with numbers, saved it as a .pdf, emailed it to the customer and it all went smoothly. Wow an email client that actually works. I converted to numbers due to Microsoft only selling a subscription based office 365 for iPad. Numbers is included for free and works fine for me. So the iPad pro with the apple pencil, Smart Cover and silicone case are a fantastic mobile office companion. The apple pencil for notes is fantastic and more accurate than the surface pen but one note for iPad does not have as many editing features. The main one being the lasso tool to move things around. Also with iOS one note when you import photos they are one size and cannot be moved. Notability on the other hand is great with one small annoyance which is getting comfortable with two finger scrolling. Everything else with the iPad pro is icing on the cake.

    Great battery
    Great speakers
    iMessage ha just figured out about text forwarding so the iPad can text no iPhone also!!!!
    Photo stream!!! Take a pictue with iPhone and it's on the iPad for dropping in notability!!!!
    Charging in the car with a lightning cable or backup battery
    Very accurate pencil. Heck I may even take up drawing
    Not being stressed because the battery percentage is falling 20% or more in an hours time!!!!
    Drawing on blueprints. HUGE
    Quick easy note taking companion with Touch ID instant access!!!! No Windows hello in the sun
    Big on screen keyboard - I tried the smart keyboard but it seems weird and clunky

    I am sure I'll find more ...

    I can use iPad 80% as a laptop replacement. MacBook Pro will stay home for photos and video editing and the yoga 3 pro will travel in the car for occasional Windows uses. (wow you can leave a yoga in sleep mode for a week and the battery won't die "cough, surface")
  2. Eric5273 macrumors 6502a

    Apr 12, 2009
    New Jersey
    Try out an app called "Documents". It's a great document viewer and also works as a nice Finder/Windows Explorer replacement for the iPad. It's great for managing your files, and also works with iCloud, Dropbox, OneDrive, and all of the other main cloud services, and can also access FTP sites.
  3. exanimo macrumors newbie


    Feb 1, 2016
  4. mikewired thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 28, 2010
  5. temna macrumors 6502a


    May 5, 2008
    The thing is with remote desktop apps, you don't even need the Yoga. Just use a cheap desktop, install SplashTop on the Macbook and the windows desktop and you can have three OSs on the iPad..
  6. mikecalderone macrumors member


    Aug 5, 2015
    Laguna Niguel, CA USA
    I have also found the Application "FileManager" which is great for storing your documents on the iPad Pro.
    Free with ads, but only .99 cents to remove ads.
  7. mikewired thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 28, 2010
    I need a Windows machine with me occasionally for programming equipment with a USB port.
  8. sonicrobby macrumors 68020


    Apr 24, 2013
    New Orleans
    I'm looking to get a pro 4, but my only concern from what you say is the battery life. Why so low? What was the brightness level, and what were you using? Because 4 hours seems awfully low for just running office.
  9. austintg macrumors member


    Oct 28, 2015
    Austin, TX
    A little off topic, but in favor of the iPad as well, my flight instructor was given the latest Surface by west jet to use as approach plate and airport info tablets and they never lasted the whole trip. Almost all of the pilots end up using their personal iPads and are leaving the provided surface at home because they just don't last and have to end up searching through their paperwork for their backup plates and directories. They can't be trusted in a professional setting. He also said the first flight he used the Surface, as soon as they touched down both shut down at the same time and gave them a real uneasy feeling about using them going forward.
  10. Mystro macrumors 6502


    Apr 16, 2011
    Doesnt surprise me. The Windows fan boys attacked this forum in full force since the iPad Pro was released. You could tell by their rantings and misinformation they kept planting. After the dust settled and the Pro established itself with more owners, it has risen to the top quite easily.
  11. mikewired thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 28, 2010
    I would rely more on a budget 300 laptop than a surface. I am not sure why they can't get the thing reliable and to get a decent battery life. I read that more people with a surface pro 3 and win 8.1 get better battery life. There are a few posters on surface forums that have put win 8.1 on their surface pro 4's.
  12. maxsix Suspended


    Jun 28, 2015
    Western Hemisphere
    I'm using an iPad Pro and a Surface Pro 4 in the multi-platform environment I work in. My Surface gets outstanding battery life and so does my iPad, they're so close to the same it's a non issue.
  13. mikewired thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 28, 2010
    I hear about people getting good battery life with sp4 but I could not make it happen. I had and returned sp4 m3, sp4 i5 doing the same things as I do on my other computers excel, email, web browsing. I could watch the battery gauge drop 25% in one hour just web surfing 75% brightness. I refuse to something absurd like 25% brightness just to make something last on battery. I have returned 2 surface books for other stupid problems but the battery would fade just as fast but there was more battery packed in. A lot more battery. The surface book should easily go 12 hours but real life was about 7 to 8. I am sure they will sort it out and I'm sure a very few got a good machine. It wasn't for me for that kind of money. My MacBook Pro retina quad i7 easily goes 8+ hours.
  14. LCPepper macrumors 6502


    Aug 5, 2013
    United Kingdom
    I feel exactly the same way about my 9.7" iPad Pro! My MacBook gets a lot less use nowadays too.

    One little thing I saw in your post:
    When I use Notability with the Apple pencil, and it's in pencil mode, I can scroll with one finger as normal, without it drawing on the screen... Perhaps fish around in the settings see if this is something that can be toggled? Would save you from having to bother remembering/ it's much more natural with one finger.
  15. yaxomoxay macrumors 68030


    Mar 3, 2010
    Same here. I use my iPP 12.9 every day, continuously, for almost everything. I have my textbooks, my work documents, my pleasure books, my notes etc.
    The apps I use the most are:
    - PDF Expert
    - Wunderlist (life saver)
    - Notability
    - Day One
    - Genius Scan
    - Wordpress
    - MyFitnessPal
  16. Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

    Jul 17, 2008
    There is no car charger for laptops? I never thought about this before, since I almost never ride cars, but now that I think about it, it seems like something somebody would make.
  17. alexstjo macrumors member

    Sep 11, 2009
    text forwarding????? please tell me how you did this? please
  18. Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

    Jul 17, 2008
    Your iPhone and iPad need to be signed in to the same iCloud account.

    Once they are signed in, on your iPhone, go to Setings > iMessage > Text Message Forwarding. You'll see your iPad listed. Flip the switch to On. A code will pop up on your iPad, which you enter on your iPhone.
  19. sparksd, Sep 1, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2016

    sparksd macrumors 68000

    Jun 7, 2015
    Seattle WA
    Most laptops draw too much power for what you would consider to be a car charger. Generally, to charge through the car you need a 12V DC to 110V AC inverter along the lines of this:


    Then you just use the laptop's power adapter. I have an inverter but have rarely used it. For my Dell XPS 13, I use a Dell battery pack for those times I want longer battery life or additional charge without access to plug-in power.

    (edit: I should note that I posted a link to an inexpensive inverter. For laptops, if you are going to use it much you really may want a more expensive pure sine wave inverter that provides cleaner power)
  20. kvyoung, Sep 1, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2016

    kvyoung macrumors member

    Aug 27, 2015
    Sherwood Park, Alberta, Canada
    I made a similar decision to the OP. I had a Surface Pro 3 but battery life was terrible so I sold it. I then bought a Lenovo Miix 700 hoping the core-M processor would improve on battery life but found the keyboard to be buggy where it would miss every third or forth keystroke so I returned it for a refund. I then considered the Thinkpad X1 Tablet, Surface Pro 4, Surface Book, Acer's tablet and the Samsung offering while reading more about the SP4 on Reddit and elsewhere from people that owned them. What I read confirmed for me that while the SP4 is a great design there seems to be endless problems. The battery life was also a major consideration.

    I have owned Tablet PC's for about 15 years so I'm quite familiar with digital ink in a Windows environment but prefer my iPad Air 2 to a Windows tablet for tablet mode functions. Windows has never ran as smoothly as iOS. I was looking for something with digital inking capabilities. I wasn't really looking for a laptop replacement as I have laptops now that I use and a dedicated laptop is better as a laptop than the SP4 or its clones will ever be. Likewise I came to the conclusion that the iPad Pro was a better tablet than the SP4 or its clones could ever be so I went the iPad Pro route.

    Unlike the OP I have an Office 365 subscription so use the Microsoft suite on the iPad Pro along with OneDrive for Business. This gives me the office compatibility I wanted from the SP 4 but the fantastic tablet capabilities of an iOS device. If I need advanced features from the desktop version of Office which is rare, I'll flip to my laptop. The iPad Pro gives me the battery life I was after. It's inking capabilities surpass the SP 4 and clones. For me it makes a lot more sense than a SP 4.

    I guess if you are trying to replace a laptop and a tablet the SP 4 and its clones might make sense but since I own both, I believe that the iPad Pro is simply a better tablet.
  21. rui no onna, Sep 1, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2016

    rui no onna macrumors 603

    rui no onna

    Oct 25, 2013
    I think it mostly depends on the manufacturer if they offer a car charger/DC travel adapter or not. I know for sure Dell and Lenovo offer car adapters (at least for Latitude and ThinkPad lines). I'm betting HP does, too, at least for their business line.

    As for power draw, the AC adapter for my laptop is just 40W and I've never seen power consumption go above 25W (Intel Burn Test) when measuring via Kill-A-Watt. Typical draw is around 7-15W (web browsing, Netflix). Maybe if you have a gaming laptop, then it would be too much. Iirc, cigarette lighter ports on most vehicles can handle 120W. That's enough to power a barebones Mini-ITX build with sufficient headroom.
  22. sparksd macrumors 68000

    Jun 7, 2015
    Seattle WA
    Good point. Was showing my age, back when laptops were bigger, more power-hungry. I actually can't remember the last time I charged/powered anything other than my phone in the car. As I said, I use a backup battery for my laptop if I need the extra battery time but that is extemely rare, too.
  23. bensisko macrumors 65816

    Jul 24, 2002
    The Village
    On the battery...

    I've noticed the battery issue on SP4s we have at work - they tend to drain VERY quickly, despite battery saving measures. My SP3 gets decent (for a Windows machine) battery, but nowhere NEAR iPad battery life.

    I am able to coax 6.5 hours out of the SP3 if I turn off WiFi, BT, dim the screen down to 40%, and only use OneNote - though turning off WiFi isn't an option because OneNote on the SP3 has dumped my notes far too often to not have it backed up to OneDrive.
  24. Robotchilli macrumors newbie


    Nov 23, 2015
    Interesting read regarding the surface pro 4. Last November before I took the first "real" step into Apple by using it all day every day for work in the shape of an iMac and a MBP I was seriously considering the pro4 as I still had fear of leaving what I had always known with Windows.
    Anyway in the store deliberating between the 2 my better half who is not tech savvy at all summed it up for me toot sweet.

    We went to the apple concession and had a play and then went to the Windows concession to play with the pro 4 and she said " your not getting that silly looking little thing...it looks cheap" 30 mins later we left with the apple kit. Disaster avoided as I just could not live with the battery life or update issues sleep/wake etc.
  25. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6


    Aug 17, 2007
    Nice write up, @mikewired thanks for taking the time to do it. Enjoy your new iPad pro.

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